Created by ‘Barbie Tech’ and introduced at the 2008 CES, currently going on in Las Vegas, the game can be played in any PC that has a CD-ROM and accepts a USB-connected scanner. With 200 different collectible fashion cards that consist of various hair styles, tops, bottoms, dresses, shoes and accessories that a unique barcode that can be “swiped’ through a scanner, creating a ‘collection’ is as easy as ABC.
The ‘scanned’ items are uploaded to the ‘Design Studio’ closet that is part of the game. From there, the girls can mix and match looks for the “fashion models” Barbie ® Teresa ®, Nikki ®, Summer ® and Raquelle ®
Once the ‘collection’ has been made, the girls can hold a virtual fashion show using the ‘Runway Show’ part of the software complete with customized music, lighting and theme.
Though Mattel did not say that Barbie® iDesign™ is an extension of its successful BarbieGirls.com, a hybrid play experience that combines a real world, doll-inspired music device with a virtual world platform that is very similar to Second Life, the focus on tech games for tweens and teens cannot be denied.
Becase Barbie is an all time favorite for young girls, is Mattel actually creating a new breed of fashionistas with its Barbie® iDesign™? It might only be a game, but Barbie® iDesign™ teaches children to be creative in their way of dressing, wherein individuality is the key for each look.
When these girls grow up, will fashion designers be able to cater to their individualistic taste? Has fashion become a slave to technology? When does technology end and creativity begin?